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on 7 September 2003
The story that reveals how Counsellor Deanna Troi and Commander William T. Riker of the Enterprise first met and became romantically entangled is told here in this superb audio book voiced by Riker himself, Jonathan Frakes. Unlike most Next Generation stories, this has a predominantly character driven plot where dialogue and witty banter takes precedence over action. There is in fact only one big action spectacle towards the end. But as a fan of the continuing on & off, deep and yet uncertain love story between these two favourite's of the Star Trek universe, I found this to work superbly and was absolutely engrossed by every lover's quarrel, every word and gesture that as we all now know eventually amounts to a life-long bond.

While the majority of the story sees Will and Deanna within, or in the vicinity of the Troi family home, some of the most important scenes in the story see them relocacted to the harsh and forbidding jungles of the Betazoid Homeworld. These scenes are brought to life by some very atmospheric sound effects, as the lives of both beloved characters are placed in mortal peril by the author (the hugely talented Peter David). This story also has some of the most hilarious lines in Star Trek history, delivered effortlessly by Frakes as the notorious Lwaxana Troi, who manages to turn meeting the parents into a fate worse than death!

So if you're expecting a multitude of space battles and the screaming of the red alert sirens at regular intervals you'll undoubtedly be disappointed, but if you're anything like me and appreciate the unexpected unfolding of the average Star Trek story, but one that's balanced with the exchange of phaser-fire, then I guarantee you'll find this the greatest story ever told (in the Star Trek universe, that is). A Trek Epic!
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I remember reading that the biggest regret the creators of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" had from their pilot episode, "Encounter at Farpoint," was the moment when Commander Riker and Counselor Troi met on the bridge of the Enterprise. Troi talked to Riker through some sort of psychic connection, and called him "Imzadi." We figured out the two had a past, but as for what the Betazed word "Imzadi" meant we had to wait until Peter David decided to write a book about it and these two characters to explain it all for us.
If telling the back story of William Riker and Deanna Troi was not ambitious enough, David is also audacious enough to work in the Guardian of Forever from the classic original "Star Trek" episode "The City on the Edge of Forever," scripted by Harlan Ellison (and you all know how Ellison felt about what Gene Roddenberry did to the episode, so you can imagine the second thoughts David had to have about picking up on the idea--the volume is dedicated to Harlan). The result is as fine a "Star Trek" novel as you will ever read, with an ending that I still pick up and read from time to time, and which still touches me. David took what ended up being a throw away element from the pilot and turned it into a truly epic love story.
The novel actually begins with the end of "The City on the Edge of Forever," as Captain James T. Kirk says, "Let's get the hell out of here." The event is being observed by several people, including Commander Data. The setting is the future, in which Riker is now an admiral, Wesley Crusher is the Captain of the "Hood," and Lwaxana Troi dies cursing Riker for letting Deanna die many years before. We then go back to the beginning, when young William Riker was assigned to Betazed and found himself intrigued by the tantalizing but completely uninterested Deanna Troi. What follows is one of those rare times that a love story in the "Star Trek" universe reaches a believable level of pathos, which, granted, is hard to do in a television episode.
In addition to the aforementioned challenges of coming up with a compelling story for the Riker-Troi romance and working off of the Ellison episode, David also decides to tell the story of "Imzadi" by jumping around in time from "The End" to "The End of the Beginning" and eventually to "The Beginning of the End." However, this is not a concern because David has worked out the logic of his story and all of the pieces fit together. Besides, if you have any questions, the Guardian of Forever can answer them (just remember to ask).
This is probably my all-time favorite "Star Trek" novel and the fact that Troi and Riker ended up getting married in the final "STNG" movie does not take away from its emotional resonance. I have a tendency to like stories that connect the dots more than those that try to tell stories that are too big for the small screen (or too expensive for a theatrical film). Even though I had already read the book at the library I went out and bought a copy, in hardcover, and when Marina Sirtis came to the Zenith City for a "Star Trek" convention it was my copy of this book that I had her autograph.
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on 26 July 2002
WOW........What can I say!!? 5 stars just ISN'T enough!!!!!!! I bought this book to find out more about the history of the relationship between Commander William T. Riker & Counsellor Deanna Troi........I wasn't disappointed. The book goes back to a time before Will Riker has moved up the ranks to Commander & before Deanna Troi has been to university. I won't say anymore because I don't want to spoil your enjoyment by giving anything away!! All I will say is, if you enjoyed the T.V. series and these two characters in particular then this book is a MUST HAVE!!!!!!
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on 26 May 2010
I've read this book about 15 years ago borrowed from the library. I would still say that this book is a very good read! The world building was already set by the star trek movies/series so the world building and character development there cannot be scored as it was already done long before this book was published. The author however spins a tale about the two characters in star trek which I really liked. And I think this has contributed a whole lot to my reading pleasure! My addiction and craving was fed! The story telling was compelling enough that I would give it a 4 out of 5. The story itself was a much-loved one and I would give it a 5 out of 5. Overall entertainment value, I would give this book a 5 out of 5. I still love this book after all these years...
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on 11 February 1999
This book troubled me a bit until I realised that the problem was that it was truer to life than even the TV series is. We actually have conflict between major characters rather than what can appear to be pussy footing around feelings from the series. Peter David injected his normal deft touches of "Star Trek" humour which made me laugh out loud at times. This is only possible from having a good handle of the characters and their motivations. It is a good story filler for missing questions in the TV show although I felt that Thomas Riker was shown in a poor light. All in all a very thoughtful and enjoyable book.
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on 26 September 1999
This story is a must for any Star Trek lovers who have always wondered about the real story behind Deanna Troi and William Riker. All is revealed, well enough to give you a clue and keep you guessing. Well worth a read.
I really enjoyed reading this book as it ties up so many lose ends that you have probably always wondered about.
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on 14 December 2000
As an avid Star Trek: The next Generation Fan, i always wanted to know the story behind the word 'Imzadi'. This book is one of my favourite, if you love a good love story, this will have you in tears, Theres also action, and adventures through time! I would recommend this to everyone!
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on 8 December 2013
PERFECT!!! This is perfct for those who love the whole star trek tng series. First book Ive read by peter David and words cant describe how much I loved this book.
The book is about how Will and Deanna met when they were younger and how their relationship developed, also explains why Deanna and Lwaxana (mother) have some problems. Great on how the whole romance appeared :)
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on 15 September 2012
Loved the descriptions of Star Trek: Next Generation characters, felt like it could have actually been part of the TV series. Enjoyed the background to Troi and Riker's relationship and am looking forward to reading Imzadi Part II, which is hopefully set aboard the Enterprise, unlike the majority of this book. Would have perhaps liked to have seen more of the TV series characters to see where they would have been in the future e.g. Worf, La Forge etc. But that's really my only complaint!
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on 16 August 2003
Imzadi is one of Peter David's finest works of art. If you're already a fan of the show and haven't read this, you're wrong! Imzadi gives a (if not canon) complete explanation of how Deanna Troi and William Riker became "Imzadi." This novel is completely enthralling from cover to cover. It details how the two met, fell in love, separated and later became the best of friends. If you cannot pick this one up in hardback, at least come up with the paperback, this is not one to miss if you've followed TNG from the beginning or if you're new to it. {ssintrepid}
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